Why schedule a physical?
Monitor Growth & Development
You and your doctor know your child – and your child's health – better than anyone else.
Having a primary care provider means you have a partner to track your child's health over time, as well as comprehensive knowledge on any previous hospitalizations, medications, allergies or illnesses, such as asthma, epilepsy or diabetes, which may interfere with your child's ability to safely participate in an activity.
Provide Comprehensive Health Assessment
In order for children to enroll in schools, or play in certain activities and sports, a school or sports physical may be required. A primary care provider performs the comprehensive checkup to make sure there are no alarming changes since your child's last visit. Included in the exam is a head-to-toe health assessment of your child's:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure and pulse
- Heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
- Posture, joints, strength and flexibility
If your child's doctor does detect any abnormalities, he or she can prescribe the appropriate next steps to ensure your child is properly cared for or treated in a timely manner, so that he or she may still be able to safely participate in the activity on time.
Make Sure Vaccinations are Up-to-Date
Keeping current on vaccinations is important at any age, but it is especially important for children. Children require specific vaccinations at certain ages to create immunity to potentially harmful, even life-threatening, diseases. During your exam, your child's primary care physician will make sure he or she is up-to-date with all vaccinations according to guidelines set by the CDC and required by schools.
Provide Guidance Pertinent to Participation
Your child's pre-participation physical exam is also a great opportunity to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have about his or her physical or emotional well-being. In addition to serving as an important resource for your medical questions, your child's physician will also be able to provide tips pertaining to injury prevention, training, nutrition and a range of other topics specifically designed to help your child become a stronger, healthier and safer participant.